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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

158                The Loom of Language
extent. For instances when two adverbial paitides occur in a Teutonic
language^ the one winch indicates time tonics fust. A defect of English
syntax is that althougli the accepted oider for auy particular pair of
adverbs conloims to iigid custom., there is no simple ude which applies
to any situation Sometimes ;m advcib of time pietcdes^ and sometimes
it follows another adverb as m
(t/) he olten wept bitterly,
(&) he went North to-day
Inversion of subject and verb is one way of changing a plain state-
ment into a question in all Teutonic and Romance languages* The
same is true of Bible-English It is true of Anglo-American only when
the verb is a helper ^ as in can you face reading the rest of tJn^ chapter?
Otherwise Anglo-American has its own peculiar roundabout method of
interrogation* We no longer say, $aw\t thou? The modern form of
the question is: do you my? We use this roundabout foim witi all
verbs except helper verbs other than kt* We can also employ it with
have In a few years no one will object to did fie ough& or did h& use?
When translating a question from modem English into German,
Swedish^ or French^ we have therefore to recast it in Bible English.*
Inversion of verb and subject in Teutonic and Romance languages>
and the roundabout Anglo-American expression with do or did* turn a
statement into the general iorm which implies acceptance or rejection of
the situation as a whole We cannot concentrate attention on the identity
of the transaction indicated by the verb xtsclt without either elaborating
the question or using italics In this general foims the answer to the
question will be ycs> no> ot some non-committal comment In English it
is immaterial whether wo ask it in the positive form (did the . ?) or
negative (didrfi he .  >?)* In some languages this distinction is important,
The English yes has to be translated by different French or Scandinavian
words when the negative is substituted for the positive form of the
question The English Yes, after a positive question, is equivalent to the
Scandinavian Ja* and the French Qui. After a negative question, the
English Yes is equivalent to the Scandinavian Jo, and the French Si The
German Ja aud Dock tally with the Scandinavian Ja and Jo,
The preceding remarks apply to the difference between the form of
a question and the form of a statement in so far as the design of the
question is to elicit confirmation of the statement as a whole It may
also be designed to elicit new information It may then begin with an
interrogative particle* in English* whcny why^ wheres how The interro-
gative particle precedes other words in the order appropriate to a
* The two forms of interrogation ocuu consecutively in the Authorized
Version* I Cor* vi, 2 and 3,